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First Generation

Lindsay Young

When they step off the plane

I wonder if they spent the flight
Air drunk and nursing
The pit of their stomachs

When my parents go home
I wonder if Jamaica has a smell to it
One that comes firm and clear
Begs them to breathe a memory to life

When I moved across the country
I didnt know that it was about leaving my family behind

Until it was
Until I did
Closed my eyes

Let me trapeze into the dark no matter where it take me
And it was far away from them

I wonder if when my parents go home
They have to rehearse defending where they’ve been

Count the colors in the room
To not be spit back into panic
Daily emergency
So many generations old
None of us actually know where the alarm
is coming from

I wonder if home has always had teeth
If running away was always in the fine print

If the blood of my family learned too well how to traverse:

Why everywhere we are made
Is something to escape

Lindsay Young_edited.jpg

Lindsay Young

Lindsay Young (she/they) is a first generation Jamaican-American poet from New York, based in Southern California. She is a Nuyorican Poets Cafe and Winter Tangerine alumnus, a Watering Hole fellow, and a two time 2021 Best of the Net nominee. They are the author of Salt to Taste, and In your Absence which was selected as the winner of Backbone Press' 2021 chapbook competition. Young is currently working on her next manuscript and forging into new artistic mediums, while working as an associate therapist after earning her MSW from Columbia University. 

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